A collection of doodles with a bit of commentary by RICK GREEN - your cartooning friend

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Name Thingy Project

I'm sitting on the living room floor of my oldest daughter's house. We've been in Oklahoma for the past week getting things together for daughter number two's wedding. The nuptials happened yesterday and everything went very well. I've been sharing on this blog my plans to create a large styrofoam cutout to help decorate the wedding reception. Here is my report of how the "Name Thingy Project" turned out.

The work actually began when I did the "dry run" back in Brookings. (See below what I did as a practice project.)

I think I drew a version of this a half of dozen times. This was the one that I chose to create. It was important to create a shape that would have stability. The sweeping lines underneath their names helped to make it strong.

I set up shop at daughter number one's church across the road from their home. They were very gracious and kind to me—letting me use up a good deal of the floor space in their sanctuary to work. A few days before the wedding it was suggested that I create a smaller version to be hung over the guest book table. That created more pressure on the use of my time.

I copied the design onto a transparency and projected the image onto a large piece of styrofoam that my (first) son-in-law picked up for me at Home Depot.

Then, while being careful not to bump the projector, I traced out the design onto two 8th foot panels.

Then I cut out the image using the lines as my guide. Back home, when I did my dry run, I tried using an electric knife, but the styrofoam I used then was a standard thickness. The panels I got in Oklahoma was a compressed foam and too hard for the knife. The youth pastor at the church was kind enough to loan me his sawzall to use instead. That worked great for the large cuts, but for the tighter spots I utilized a hot knife.

After cutting the image out I painted the back and the edges with flat black paint.

I was able to find a latex metallic gold to use on the face. Many of the metallic paints are oil based and will eat into the foam if you use it.

My father-in-law, Tom, helped me a bunch. He worked hard to clean up the edges of the cutout.

After that I outlined the letter with an olive green, which was one of my daughter's wedding colors. The image always pops whenever you get to the outlining stage.

We were able to string a cable out across the area we were trying to fill with decorations in the church's fellowship hall. Then we used fishing string to hang the name thingy and several Chinese lanterns. That's my next future son-in-law working on the ladder. My oldest daughter, Tarah, is the one holding the cutout up.

Then we hung Chinese Lanterns on either side.

The finished product. What do you think?

A view of the reception area from above.

Here is a photo of the smaller cutout hanging over the guest book table. I had a lot of people say nice things about my work. Most were wondering how I got the things from Oregon to Oklahoma. I wanted to say that we flew out a craftsman from Oregon to make the design for us, but I was enjoying hearing their complements too much to lie.

After the fun was over, it was my sad responsibility to dispose of them. After all, what does one do with a 14 foot name thingy? 

So, I took them outside, popped them over my knee and dumped them in the dumpster. Isn't this a sad photo?

BUT WAIT!?! That's not entirely true...

We just couldn't destroy the entire project.



Snuck over to the newlywed's home and hung the smaller cutout over their bed—waiting there for their return. I guess they will have to decide it's fate.

I'll post some photos from the wedding soon. You can find several that I've already posted on my Facebook page. It was a beautiful event and my daughter looked VERY beautiful.


Sharon Kirby said...

Hey, the "Name Thingy" turned out great!

I did NOT like the picture of it in the trashcan :(

But, my frown turned into a smile again - at the wall art over the newlyweds' bed! Great placement!

Rick, so glad that the wedding was beautiful. I can't wait to see pictures, especially of your princess...


Brenda said...

Very cool. You look like Vanna White there in the one.

Alice said...

a lot of love went into that name-thingy! i think it was a wonderful addition and it turned out great! and i bet they keep the one hanging over their bed - i would - you put too much work into it to just dump it and this one is a manageable size, so i vote for 'keep it'.

Chris H said...

You did a FANTASTIC job on the 'name thingee's' mate! I bet they choose to keep the names above their bed!

Anonymous said...

Of course I've already shared that the wedding was outstanding and beautiful as was your daughter (okay, you cleaned up nice too.)

I love that you hung the name thingy in their room. What a great idea! Bet they loved it!